Kimberly Severson is a doula, lactation educator and childbirth educator in Titusville, Florida. In addition to being the mother of four sons and the wife of a supportive husband, Kimberly reaches out to expectant and new parents in her community with special attention to the needs of teenage parents. Though she has years of experience and multiple training certifications, she made it a priority to become a Certified HUG Teacher. Kimberly describes some of her HUG Your Baby experiences below.
I have enjoyed becoming certified in the HUG Your Baby program and using these resources and techniques with private couples and with large groups. The largest class I teach is at our community's "Worlds Greatest Baby Shower." Every year The HUG class has the HIGHEST attendance and is the TOP CLASS at this event.
When clients come to see me privately, they are usually at their wits end as to "what else to do" with a crying baby. Most of the time the baby is loosely wrapped with his feet sticking out of the blanket and is crying intently. Once the parents are shown how to make a more secure swaddle and watch their baby's response, parents are overjoyed that they can now read what their baby is telling them. A teenage mom I worked with recently said she was at the point of considering leaving her baby at a "Safe Haven" and giving up on parenting. But, watching her baby respond to our comforting efforts encouraged this young mother and inspired her to go on to help other young moms.
The fathers I teach are usually first-time dads who have never held a baby. They say they are clueless in just about "everything baby." But once they are taught to handle their baby, and to see their baby's ability to interact, the confidence of these new fathers increases. One father told me that when he tried to interact with his son, the baby would get fussy and turn away. Remembering about those "Spacing Out" SOSs helped this father know what to do. After the baby woke up from a short nap, the father would quiet his voice, comfort his son, and notice then that the baby was more available for interacting.
When I am out at stores or with my family I am often approached by young couples and told how much The HUG helped them survive (and thrive) during those first few weeks as new parents. It is so exciting to see the parents’ faces when they describe those "ah ha" moments. I look forward to more opportunities to share HUG Your Baby and to help young families in the years ahead.